Alumni activities in the Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society employs a workforce of more than 20,000 professionals in 84 Institutes, including approx. 13,000 doctoral candidates, postdocs, scientific researchers and visiting scientists. Every year, new scientific researchers and scholars from all over the world take up employment at one of our institutes while others are leaving us in order take up positions in the international arena.

"Max Planck is everywhere!" We want to make use of this fact to connect alumni all over the world - regardless of where they are - by setting up a global network of former employees across the scientific disciplines, a platform for sharing both professional and personal experiences.

In the following you will find the most essential information about our relevant offers. Alumni and Alumnae can also register with maxNet, the communication platform of the Max Planck Society - registration is quick and easy.

What does "Alumni and Alumnae" mean?

The word "alumnus/alumnae" is derived from the Latin word "alere", "to nourish", and means "nursling" or "pupil". "Alumni/Alumnae", the plural form of "alumnus/alumna", literally means "the nurtured ones". In the USA, the term "alumni and alumnae" has been used for graduates or former students of institutes of higher education for more than 200 years. In Germany, it is only in the past few years that activities of alumni and aumnae have become established at universities and research institutes.

Who are our alumni and alumnae?

All scientific researchers as well as visiting scientists who spent a research residency at one of our institutes of a minimum of six months; all graduates, doctoral students, fellowship holders and postdocs as well as non-scientific staff.

How are our alumni and alumnae organized?

The Max Planck Alumni Association is an integral part of our work with alumni and alumnae, because it represents an independent platform of collaboration, worldwide networking and individual career services.

Membership is for free and available to everyone who has worked with us for more than 6 months – that includes staff who are still active.

What do we offer?

Activities at the institutes

Max Planck alumni and alumnae usually feel a sense of community to their former institutes. Therefore, every institute has a contact person in the form of an Alumni representatives who will gladly inform you about its institute's activities.

Some institutes have already been actively involved in local activities for a long time, organising meetings, sending out their institute newsletter and setting up alumni association and groups.


The Max Planck Society supports events with and for alumni and alumnae in manifold ways, including but not limited to the support of early career researchers. In example, the annual Max Planck Symposium for Alumni and Early Career Researchers in our Harnack-Haus of Berlin, or various Career Days at Institutes or locations are noteworthy.

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